Friday, September 30, 2011

Love Dare Day 10...

We have made it to day 10! I have to admit, it hasn't been without struggle. Yesterday, while praying for the removal of unforgiveness, I had several episodes arise that really required the razor-sharp teeth biting of my tongue. I probably have scars.

The whole point of this Love Dare is to make it a way of life for us. If we are going to do that, we must carry our "dares" into each day...including holding our tongue. Uggh. HARD.

In order for us to love the way Jesus commands us to love, we must follow His way. We can do this! He has already equipped us with His Holy Spirit, we just have to put it into action...daily.

I keep hearing this verse over and over and over in my head.."Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." James 1:22.

Guilty. Guilty of knowing what I am supposed to do...and not doing it. A lot. A whole lot.

So, on to today's dare.

Day 10:

The kids and I play a little game once a week while driving the 17 mile drive to school. We call it the "compliment" game. We each take turns complimenting each other. It's really fun to hear what the kids have to say. They shoot pretty straight. The point of this is to encourage each others strengths and focus on their God-given talents and gifts. A few encouraging words to someone can make a huge impact on their life.

Today, let's compliment our husbands. I want us to speak encouragingly and complimentary about our spouse to 3 friends or family members. Build him up to them and speak highly of your man. If you have trouble with what to compliment him on...pray. God will bring some things to your heart...just ask Him.

The second part of today's dare is to compliment your husband to his face. Look him in the eye and tell him something positive and uplifting about himself that will encourage him and put a smile on his face.

Our words are so powerful. They can make or break someone. Let's use our words to encourage today....and every day.

"Therefore encourage each other with these words." I Thess. 4:18

p.s....if anyone would like to take over a day or two next week....let me know! I would love to hear your love dare ideas! my friend, Rebekah, will be doing the weekend dare. be blessed!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Love Dare Day 9....

Good morning, friends. Yesterday was tough, I admit it. My tongue is my worst enemy at times. It gets away from me a whole lot.

Did you find that it was hard to hold your tongue? Especially when you are "dared" to do it? I did!

We may have to visit this dare again, just so we get it nailed down. (don't hate me.)

Okay, moving on to today....

Day 9:

Forgiveness. Such a powerful word. It's powerful to our hearts too. When we choose to forgive, our hearts are free to love and receive love.

But, guess what? When we choose not to forgive, our hearts are bound and unable to fully love or receive love. Ouch.

Today, I want you to forgive your husband for any past, present or future hurts. Yes, I am serious.

You don't have to vocalize this to him...unless you want to of course. However, I do want us to take our hurts to the one and only Healer...Jesus. Lay those hurts at His feet and leave them there.

This isn't meant to dredge up any old hurt or wound...but instead to apply the ultimate healing balm to these scars. Even scars that are yet to be.

Pray unceasingly today for God to heal your heart of unforgiveness that you may be holding on to regarding your spouse. Ask God to show you any areas that you may even be unaware of that you are holding a grudge. Oh, trust me, He will show you! Been there, done that. :)

The goal in this love dare journey is that our hearts become more like HIS--Jesus Christ--our Savior. Through honest prayer and true obedience to Him, our hearts will be transformed. Transformed heart=transformed marriage.

Praise Him.

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32

unloading all this baggage and leaving it at the feet of Jesus,


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Love Dare Day 8...

You have made it 8 days on your love dare journey!! Yay for you! Give yourself a big pat on the back for trying to be what God desires of you to be. :)

Today will be something that seems easier than it actually is. Trust me, I say this from experience.

Day 8:

Be kind to your love all day today. Let every word that comes out of your mouth be pleasing and loving. This will be a lot harder than it seems, therefore I am also asking you to pray throughout the day.

Pray for God to fill your heart with gentleness, love, patience, and self-control. (the last one is the one i struggle with the most with this mouth of mine! help me, Lord!)

We can do this, girls. God will fill us with the power to be loving and kind with our words if we only ask Him.

**Yesterday, I was thinking ahead and preparing for this specific topic to be our dare today. So, I decided to get a head start with using kind and loving words to Lem. Everything was great until I came home from bible study last night.

The house was a wreck. The spaghetti was still on the stove top, the dishes were piled up in the sink because the dishwasher was full of clean dishes, the floor had spaghetti drippings dried up on it.........I could go on.

I was fit to be tied.

Fresh off my bible study, and I was ready to have a MAJOR-momma-melt-down over this dirty house.

However, before I could open my mouth, I remembered what our dare would be today. I KNEW I needed to just shut my mouth and pray for God to give me grace with my words....ughhh. Hard!

But, I did it!

So can you!

" May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Love Dare Day 7...

Happy Tuesday, girls! How's that list going from yesterday? Keep working on it if you're not finished. :)

Let's get straight to today's dare.

Day 7:

Call your love on the phone and sweetly tell him that you are thinking of him. Tell him you can't wait to see him when he gets home. After you do this, ask him if there is anything you can do to lighten his load today.

Lem always tells me that it makes him happy to hear my voice when he is at lessens his stress. I would bet my last tube of lipgloss that your man feels the same way about YOU! :)

Our men are hard workers. Let them know you realize this. Offer to help him out in some way today.

I am so proud of all of you! Have I told you all lately that I love you??? Well.... I do!! :)

"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

Monday, September 26, 2011

Looking up....

Our memory verse for the week:

"Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up." James 4:10.

No explanation needed.

I have definitely eaten my share of humble pie...and will again, I am sure of it. Having children...especially honest ones...helps to keep me on-the-floor-humble.

Before having children, I could at least pretend like I had it all together.

After children...not so much.

It's perfectly clear that I have nothing "together".

"I can't pull it all together, but I'm going to enjoy all the together I have." --Jamie Miles

Love this quote from my running friend, Jamie.

And this quote from my friend, Erin Spinks..."Don't try to be "super-mom", just a SUPER mom!"

How can I go wrong with friends like this surrounding me?

Lord, keep my children and myself humble at all times in all situations. YOU are the vine, we are only the branches...apart from You we can do nothing.

looking up to You, Lord,  from this floor that needs to be swept,


Love Dare Day 6...

Day 6:

Happy Monday, girls. I sure hope you are having fun with this Love Dare...I know I am!

Today Lem and I celebrate 13 years of marriage. This is my favorite day of the whole year! One of our traditions on this day is to reminisce with each other about our wedding day and how life has changed since that day. (a whole lot!!)

As you look back on your own marriage, take a piece of paper and write down your fondest memories with your love. Write down a memory for each year that you have been married. The memory doesn't have to be detailed, just a short description to remind you of that wonderful time with your love. For example: a trip somewhere, your honeymoon, a birthday celebration..etc.

After you finish writing it, say a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for those times you shared together. After you pray, put the note away somewhere. You may need it again soon. ;)

This may take more than a day to complete. However, please try to complete it by Wednesday if possible. You can do it! :)

"I thank my God every time I remember you." Philippians 1:3

celebrating and remembering,


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Love Dare Day 4 & 5....

Happy weekend, Friends! I have been praying for each of you fervently this week. Praying God will pour His grace upon you as you love your husbands the way God desires us to.

Since it's the weekend, I am combining day 4 and day 5. :)

Day 4:

This weekend, give your husband a small gift. Think hard (or even better, pray) about what to give him. The gift can be very small. The size and amount is not what's important, but instead the gesture that you thought to get him something.

Some ideas: his favorite magazine, a sweet treat, his favorite soft drink, new underwear ;)...anything.

You don't even have to wrap it. You can just let him find it on his own, or casually give it to him.

He will be grateful for your thoughtfulness.

"Give and it will be given to you." Luke 6:38

Day 5:

Read Titus chapter 2 from your Bible. It will take you about 2 minutes. However, before reading it pray for God to prepare your heart for what He wants to teach you and show you.

"For the word of God is living and active." Hebrews 4:12

Enjoy your man this weekend! Pray for him every chance you will be blessed for it!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Love Dare Day 3...

Love Dare Day 3:

We call Friday, Fun Friday around here. Let's make it extra fun today! :)
Today, as soon as you see your spouse greet him with a kiss. NOT just any kiss, but a good kiss. A kiss that will make him think of his beautiful bride all day. If the kids are in the room it's okay! They need to see their momma's and daddy's loving each other! :)

If your spouse has already left for work by the time you read this...get ready to plant that kiss on him as soon as he walks through the door. Our men need our affection. They desperately want to think that we see them as handsome and masculine.

Brush those teeth girls! ;)

gurgling my mouthwash,


"Greet one another with a kiss of love." – 1 Peter 5:14

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I dare you to love...

I was mopping my floor yesterday and thinking about my husband. Our anniversary is approaching and I was in deep thoughtful prayer about how blessed I am to have a husband like Lem.

Many, many days I take him for granted. Sad, but so true.

I decided to create my own love dare for him.  I had followed the Love Dare book 2 years ago and it produced wonderful results in our marriage. Since then I have loaned the book out...and have no idea who I loaned it to. Oops. 

I invited my friends to participate on this journey with me. So far, 24 friends are on board. They are very kind to let me just wing this. I have no idea what activities lie ahead of us, but I am praying fervently for God's direction....and for their input!

My heart has a long way to go in the marriage department. I wanted my friends along with me for the accountability and encouragement. I need it. The most.

Our marriages need to be strong so we can build strong families. It's God's desire.

I need all the help I can get.

So, yesterday was our Day 1. The dare was to leave a note on our spouse's pillow telling him your very favorite thing about him.

Today I sent this email for our Day 2. I will try to post these on my blog as we go.  If you really want to jump in with us, I can also send you an email if you will share your email address with me.

Jump in! I dare you...

 Day 2:

Good morning! Thank you again for doing this with me. I KNOW you will be blessed on this journey. Some days will definitely be harder than others because of how we are feeling that day. Some days we will not want to show love to our spouses because we are mad, moody, bitter, etc..or all of the above like me! :) However, God commands us to love even when our flesh tells us different. This is exactly what sets us apart as Christians.

I did the Love Dare book 2 years ago and God restored some brokenness in my heart while I was doing the dare.Lem had no idea that I was doing the book, and some days it was hard. I stayed the course and our marriage was blessed because of obedience. I have slid a long way back since coming to that point, so that's why I want to do this again. For my own heart.

You may come to a point while doing this when you will say to yourself.."What about ME?" I came to that point too...Many days! (and i still do!)

However, if we believe God's word then we know that He will bless our marriages when we are obedient to God's calling to love. We will see the fruit of our obedience. His word never returns void.

Again, I will not be following the book this time...because I have loaned it out. We will just kind of be winging this! However, some of the activities that are still fresh in my mind we may do.

So, today is Thursday and today's dare is this:

**Pray for your spouse all day today. Don't pray for him to change (which is tempting!)...but instead thank God for your spouse. Tell God how grateful and thankful you are for the spouse He hand-picked for YOU. When you are in the shower, drying your hair, in the long carpool line, cooking dinner...whatever it is...pray prayers of thanksgiving to God for your man. Spill your heart to God about how much you love your man and how thankful you are for him. (even if you are not feeling too loving...thank God anyway.)**

Not only will this draw our hearts closer to our husbands by praying for them, but it will in turn draw us closer to God. A double whammy! Yay!

"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I'm praying for you. Let's go show some LOVE!

with a thankful heart,


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Daily Bread....

"And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men." Luke 2:52


This is our memory verse for the week. It hit home with me in a big way. Not at first, but the more I discussed the meaning with my children, the more God was showing me what it meant.

It made an impression on my heart  because this is exactly what I want at the end of each day. I want to grow in some way closer to my Lord. Most days I fail miserably because my flesh gets the best of me.

Each day brings new challenges, and sometimes the growing pains just plain hurt. Badly.

The part that really gets to me is that "Jesus grew". He didn't just come across it, he grew into it.

How awesome is that? This gives me hope that I can grow into wisdom and stature too.

I told my friend Rebekah on the phone yesterday that I feel like lately God is continually beckoning me to grow with Him. To dwell in His presence even when I think I don't need to.

A lot of times I am guilty of thinking.."Okay, I got this. I'm good for now, Lord. Thanks!"

But, He wants me to continually draw close to Him. It's like eating a big meal and thinking you will never be hungry again. Your stomach is so satisfied and so content that you can't imagine eating again.

Three hours later you are hungry again. (1.5 hours if you are me!)

When we are spiritually hungry, He will feed us. However, we must keep going to Him daily for nourishment. Even when we think we are full, we aren't.

Revelation city for me. I mean, He is truly teaching me this lesson at this very moment of my life.

I was just flipping back through my prayer journal. It's like looking at a corn maze from the top. It's clear as a bell from this view. Now I can see where He was leading me with the cries of my heart.

However, when I etched those words in that small leather journal, my heart was in prayerful anticipation and hope. When you are desperately praying and seeking, it's like being inside of a corn maze. You have no idea where the end is. You just keep going and praying for His guidance. Knowing full well that one day you will see the purpose in it all.

There are no short cuts. You have to go the long and winding route to get to that glorious end.

I like short cuts.

God likes the long scenic route.

Guess I better pack a cooler and a lot of snacks.  It's gonna be a long ride.

The final destination will be worth every bump.

riding shot gun,


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Marrying up....

the night Lem proposed to me-Feb. 6th 1998

I definitely married up.

I always tell people that I am the lucky one in this marriage. Poor Lem. I know he had NO idea what he was getting into when he married this 23 year old blond-haired-mess-of-a girl. Goodness knows, he has probably wondered what in the world he was thinking.

We will be married 13 years on the 26th of September. A lot has changed since that day. We have changed. Life has changed.

For the better.

Lem makes me a better person. Pure and simple. His heart is always in the right place. Mine, not so much. He never, ever, ever says a bad thing about anyone. Ever. Me, on the other hand, well...that's another story.

Sometimes it makes me mad because he is always so good. Like, when I want to vent about something and he just calmly says, "It'll be alright." Ugggh. Not exactly what I want to hear.

But, exactly what I need to hear.

15 years ago when we met, I was drawn to his blond locks, blue eyes, good looks, and rolling on the floor with laughter charm and wit. He was different than any other boy I had ever known. Something about his southern drawl, and his not-too-interested-in-me ways made me stop in my tracks.

He wasn't completely head over heels for me. Which I liked. I liked that he was a little harder to get. It was intriguing to me.

He still intrigues me.

I love to watch him at a party or at a social event. I am always drawn to stay right at his side because that's where the fun is. I love how he can talk to anyone about anything. Meanwhile, I am tongue-tied and completely lacking in most social situations.

I love his heart the most. He is compassionate, yet discerning. He is careful and thoughtful in anything he does. While I on the other hand am like a bull in a china shop flying by the seat of my pants. Lem is always patiently waiting on me to finish my craziness so that he can clean up the mess. Yes, true.

We balance each other. Well.

Or shall I say he balances me. That would be the most accurate.

Like I said, I am the lucky one. God knew I needed his stability due to my lack of stability. God knew I needed someone strong and not easily rocked.

He makes me better.

trying to be more like him,


Monday, September 12, 2011

Just another day in paradise...

I'm so slack today.

Didn't run this morning with my girls, didn't wash any clothes, didn't make up my bed--or any for that matter, didn't scrub any toilets, and I certainly didn't mop any floors.

But...I did wake up with a smile on my face, joy in my heart, 2 smiling (well, after they ate) children, One handsome and hardworking husband, a car that works, a house that has heating and air conditioning, and the extraordinary opportunity to live another day!

Perspective. That's what's on my mind.

Days will be hard, things will be tough to wrap my brain around (a lot).

 But, I'm a daughter of the Great I Am, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I WILL praise Him.

WILL have a thankful heart.

Will you?

my house is dirty but my heart is happy,


~A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. ~ Proverbs 15:12-14

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Looking back...

I wanted to honor today in some way here on my blog. I remembered a post that I wrote 3 years ago. It completely encompasses my heart today and 10 years ago today.

Posted 09/11/08:

Today is September 11th, 2008. 7 years ago I was at home with a 5 week old baby named Joseph. It was a gorgeous Fall morning. Joseph and I had gone for an early morning walk and the world was well. When we returned from our walk, I turned on the t.v. and the images that I saw will be forever etched in my memory. It didn't make sense at first, it was like I couldn't comprehend what was happening.

As my mind is trying to wrap itself around the story that I am watching unfold, I see a second plane hit the World Trade Center. I grabbed Joseph out of his crib, and sat in my rocking chair and rocked. I rocked, and rocked, and rocked. I remember having a hard time breathing for a bit. I called Lem, my mom and my sister. I needed reassurance that we were going to be okay.

My world changed from that moment on. I wanted to take Joseph and run away. Far away from the world that we were living in. I had my first panic attack in that green rocking chair. I thought I was having a heart attack.

I had never felt more protective over my child up until that point in time. Motherhood and all that it encompasses was suddenly staring me in the face, and I felt like a weak kitten.

I prayed for God to give me the strength to get myself up out of that chair and be strong, be strong for this child that He had graced us with just 5 short weeks earlier. He did. He immediately came to my rescue and gave me the peace that I so desperately needed.

After that day, I admit that I struggled. I struggled with panic attacks and depression. September the 11th changed me.

After that day, I never look at an American flag without thinking of it waving at the site of the demolished towers.

After that day, I realized the importance of every second counting, and not taking any of it for granted.

I often think of the women that lost their husbands that day. I say a prayer for them and their families.

But for the grace of God, there go I.

May God bless this great country of ours.

still proud to be an American,


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Puzzle pieces....

Ever met someone that makes you want to throw up?

Well, I did tonight. I mean this in the nicest way, however.

Her name is Susan and she is a friend of my sisters.

She is beautiful. Her hair is perfect. Her make-up is flawless. She cooks like Paula Deen. She sews like Martha Stewart. She coupons like a professional. She just went back to school to get her cosmetology degree...which means she is also good at doing other peoples hair and make-up.

She has 5 kids. Yes, 5 kids.

You hate her too, don't  you.

As she was teaching me her couponing system underneath the bright lights of my sisters kitchen table, I feel myself dwindling. Suddenly, I feel pretty inadequate.

Good grief, Lord, can I just have one of these skills that she effortlessly conveys? I mean, seriously.

I had one question for her..."Do you.....home school?" If she said yes, I was going to turn her around and look for the batteries fastened in her back. She couldn't be real.

"No way!", She answered.

Shew. Okay. She's a real person. (i think.)

As we were driving the 45 minute drive home from my sisters house, I spent some time talking to the Lord. In my head of course.

Lem was busy listening to the Georgia football post-game talk radio show and the kids had fallen asleep in the back seat. It was just me and God. God and me.

I had some serious questions for Him. I needed some answers.

Okay, Lord, why do you give some of your children so many, many, many gifts? Why not spread the gifts a little. Why can't I be so effortless in sewing, cooking, grooming, couponing, etc...? Eh?

Instead, I am doing good to just get out the door in the mornings. Leaving a trail as I go.

Hmmmm? Answer me that one, Lord.


A few minutes later a thought comes into my head. I see my children. Their beautiful faces. Their presence. The joy they bring me just looking at them and being close to them.

God feels the same way about His children, right?

If Presley was a master singer, dancer, soccer player or gymnast...would that make me love her any more than I already do?


If Joseph sat the bench the whole football game his whole entire life, would that make me love him less?

No way.

As I pictured this last scenario...I envisioned Joseph witnessing to a friend while he was on that football bench and on the side lines. I pictured him encouraging his friend in life and in faith.

He may be made just to sit on that bench. And encourage a friend.

Oh, what a glorious sight.

Some of us may be the piece to the puzzle that is very, very small. So small that it slipped under the couch, unnoticed until the piece was needed to finish God's great masterpiece.

You can't have a beautiful puzzle unless every single piece is accounted for, right?

So, whatever our place on the puzzle, it's His design. His masterpiece. His plan.

Perfect. Picture perfect.

learning to embrace my piece to this puzzle,


Friday, September 9, 2011

Trimming the fat...

Fun Friday. We meet again.

So, here's what I have learned this week.

I have zero control. Zero.

God and only God directs my steps. I can plan and plan and plan, but if it's not where God is leading, I am wasting my energy and my breath.

I have issues with gripping things and people..white knuckled..for dear life. 

If I hold on tight enough, maybe, just maybe, I have control. Maybe if my grip is tight enough, I can keep my loved ones in complete isolation from pain. From the world. From danger. From anything that is not on my list of approved safety features.

Nope. Not even Hercules has that kind of control.

But God does.

God is showing me, albeit the old-fashioned-hard way, that trusting in HIM is more than just words.

It is action. It is obedience. It is going against that ugly flesh of mine and submitting my trust to Him alone.

Child-like faith. That's what He wants from me.

He is taking that big shiny knife of His and trimming the fat from this heart of mine. He wants a clean and lean heart. A heart that serves Him and trusts Him. A heart that obeys him.

Gosh. Hard.

But, guess what?

I can do hard things, remember?

So can you.

undergoing heart surgery,


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hard things...

right after bath time tonight. oh, i love this one. never a dull moment. ever.

be still my heart. i may actually start liking football.

What a day.

As I sit down to type, Presley is snuggled up right next to me. Our typical nightly routine.

She and I and the Disney channel. That's how we roll.

I have been waiting all day for this moment to sit down, exhale and blog about my week. This spiritual journey that God has been taking me on has been filled with ups and downs and downs and ups and around the bends, and then again.

You catch my drift.

Well, that's not what I will be blogging about at the moment. My mind is on another event.

After school, the kids and I headed over to the county recreation department to sign my Joseph up for football. Yes, football.

Lem talked him into it late last night. Joseph was very hesitant at first, but with Lem's persuasion he gave in. Let's just say that this just may be the happiest I have EVER seen my husband. Ever.

Of course, all of this is against my better judgement because.....well,....I'm a Momma. Momma's don't like to see their babies gettin' hurt.

Y'all with me on this?

Okay, good.

So, while signing him up today, they take him back to get him fitted for his uniform. Presley and I are sitting in the small, hot room waiting on him. I am casually talking to the sweet lady that works at the rec. department. Small talk and all that dandy stuff.

Presley, because she can never keep her little hands still, digs a peppermint out of my purse.

She sweetly asks me if she can have it. Without hesitation or even thinking, I say, "Yes, darlin'".

After still sitting in that hot little room, I decide it would be a good time to go to the restroom. Besides, my friends were working right outside in the gym on their consignment sale for the Mom's club, and I wanted to say hello.

We speak to some of our friends and head to the bathroom. Presley goes first. Then myself.

I am in full stream, when Presley screams at the top of her lungs and starts grabbing her throat.

My first thought was that she had seen a snake or a large rodent.

I grab her and yell back..."what's wrong?? what's wrong??!!"

She proceeds to tell me that she is choking.


I quickly turn her around, her head facing the toilet and perform my version of the Heimlech. I thrust her stomach all the while she is screaming.

She is screaming and coughing at the same time and I am screaming, "Jesus, Jesus, help me Jesus."

My pants are at my ankles, and I have my daughter head first over the toilet.

Lord only knows what this scene looked like.

Seconds later, I turn her around and she seems fine. No sign of the peppermint.

I asked her if she could breathe. She said yes.

I said: are you sure?

She said yes, but her throat hurt.

Apparently she swallowed it.

I proceed to pull my pants up and open the bathroom door. My hands are shaking and my knees are weak. I think I may faint.

The next thing I know, she jumps in my arms and starts hugging me. We cry and cry, and cry.

Did this really just happen? Right here in the recreation department bathroom?

Yep. I believe it did.

We finally get our composure and head back to the hot little office to see if Joseph is finished. As we walk past the Mom's getting things ready for the consignment sale this is what I am thinking....

"Oh my gosh. I just had the biggest scare of my life in that little bathroom, and nobody has a clue."

Until now.

The funny thing is, I have never let my children have peppermints. Ever.

 Until today.

 I was always telling them that they were a choking hazard and they were absolutely off limits.

And look what happened.

I don't think they will be asking for peppermints anymore. At least, I know Presley won't.

Ironically, as I look back on today's events, I remember something Presley gave me this morning.

Completely out of the blue, in the carpool line, she hands me this little book mark that reads:

"I can do hard things."

After signing my baby boy up for tackle football and performing the Heimlech on my 6 year old...I do believe I can do hard things.

So can you.

banning peppermints and pretty much all things hard and round,


"I can do all things through Christ who strenghthens me." Phillipians 4:13

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Baby steps...

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."
Proverbs 16:9

Good old Proverbs. In my opinion, no other book of the Bible gets as straight to the point as Proverbs.

This is our verse for the week. The kids were excited because it's an easy one.

 Easy, but important, I told them.

How do I know this?

Because I plan my course a whole heck of a lot. I plan my day, my week, my month.

But, guess what? God always determines my steps. He will determine what will stick to that schedule and what He will take away from that schedule.

He will determine the direction of my compass.

He's teaching me a whole lot lately about determining my steps.

Like steps to forgiveness.

And grace.

And mercy.

And love.

My course isn't always set on those things. My course is set to bitterness, anger, judgement and a hardened heart at times. (a lot of times.)

God's word says He loves the ones He disciplines and corrects. He must really love me.

I'm thankful for His correction though, even when it's a bitter pill to swallow.

He keeps my attitude in check that's for sure.

That's how I know He loves me.

Praise Him for His discipline, friends. He loves you that much.

re-setting my compass,


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Peeling these layers...

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."

2 Corinthians 12:8-10

God keeps reminding me of this verse.

Literally, I hear it daily being whispered in my ear.

I desperately need God's Grace over some things in my life right now. He keeps reminding me that not only is He showing me Grace, but that I must show Grace to others.

Even when it's hard.

Like really, really hard.

It hurts sometimes. My flesh gets the best of me and then I have to start over with this Grace thing.

He's slowly peeling away these layers.

And, oh boy, do I have some layers.

just one big fat Vidalia onion,


Friday, September 2, 2011

Table Tales....

Hey! Who snapped this picture of us at dinner last night?

Friday Fun day. We meet again. Yay!

So, since it's the weekend and all, I will keep it light. (I heard that!)

I leave you with our conversation at the dinner table last night.

On a typical evening we play" trash or treasure." We go around the table and share our "trash" and "treasure" moments of the day with each other.

Joseph's turn.

 "My treasure today was sitting next to **Mary** at lunch. She didn't say one word to me, but she kept kicking my foot and laughing. I think she was...... flirtin' with me Momma." he says sheepishly.

(Is it bad that I don't care for her already?)

I can't remember Joseph's trash. I was still thinking of this girl that had my son's undivided attention in the elementary school cafeteria.


**I changed her name to protect the innocent...**

Presley's turn.

She takes her fork and points at the food pierced on it and says, "My trash for the day is..... this meal that Mommy made. Yuuuuuu--cky."

I can't remember her treasure. I completely tuned out after that comment.

Can you blame me?

Have a "treasure-filled"  Labor day weekend, my friends!

looking for some better recipes,


"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Mark 10:14

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Jesus in the carpool line....

I have to share something. It's just not right to keep something so amazing and so providential to myself.  That would be selfish, right?

I thought so too.

Okay, so I have been hearing about this great devotional by Sarah Young called, "Jesus Calling". Many friends and even my sister have been telling me to get it.

I am devotional-poor. I mean, I have devotionals all around my house. One in every bathroom. Yes, a lot.
(shows you just what i mess i am and how needy i am for His word!)

Moving on.

 So, I had lunch with my dear friend Lisa yesterday at our favorite little spot...Chili's. I wish you knew Lisa. Or maybe some of you do.

Oh my, talk about a godly woman. She is my every way. She probably hates when I tell her that but I can't help it. She's just awesome. She's the kind of awesome that doesn't even realize how awesome she is. Which makes her even more awesome. (and she's beautiful). All that rolled into one godly unfair.

She's the kind of person that makes you want to be better.  I always leave her presence feeling so encouraged and inspired.

Yep, she's that great. (so is her blog....check it out and be blessed.)

Well, I left our lunch and headed to Lifeway to get the book "Excellent Wife". Lisa is teaching this study at her church and was telling me how wonderful it is. If Lisa says it's's good.

I quickly darted in the store and got the very last copy.

As I was checking out, I notice the "Jesus Calling" devotional on the shelf on sale for $10.00.
Ooh..that's a deal. Hard to pass up a good deal. At least for me it is.

I grabbed it and checked out of the store.

I headed straight to the school to get in the carpool line. I was early so I had time to read my new books.

Picking up the devotional first, I went to August 31st. (yesterday)

I settled in my seat with my (real) coke in one hand and my devotional in the other.

I read the passage for that day and nearly fainted right there on the steering wheel.

Okay, God REALLY was speaking to me. To ME. Oh my.

Here is what it read--or what God was saying:

"Grow strong in your weakness. Some of my children I have gifted with abundant strength and stamina. Others, like you, have received the humble gift of frailty. Your fragility is not a punishment, nor does it indicate lack of faith. On the contrary, weak ones like you must live by faith, depending on Me to get you through the day. I am developing your ability to trust Me, to lean on Me, rather than on your understanding. Your natural preference is to plan out your day, knowing what will happen when. My preference is for you to depend on Me continually, trusting Me to guide you and strengthen you as needed. This is how you grow strong in weakness."

I nearly fainted. (Whoever was in the black explorer next to me in carpool, forgive me for my emotional raising of the hands and shouting hallelujah. You must have thought I was crazy. You were right.)

I had just cried on the phone with my friend that morning about how weak I was. How things seemed to affect me so deeply and it was wearing me out. Why couldn't I just be stronger and let things roll off my back instead letting things go so deep within my soul.

Why did God make me that way? Why was my sister strong as a rock...Steady Eddie, and I was weak as a kitten, Unstable Mabel?

He was telling me why in that very passage. He wants my weakness to glorify Him. Living by faith on Him alone.


Go get this book.

Go.. now!

What is He showing you today?

If you are on your knees about something, maybe that's exactly where He wants you to be.

Fragile, frail.

Depending on Him, alone.

embracing my weakness and His strength,